Google's failed online shopping service Google Express closes in a few weeks as its features will be merged into a modernized version of Google Shopping, Google said in an email sent to its customers this week. The company had already announced its plans to shut down the Google Express brand, as part of a broader transformation of how it approached online shopping. This included new advertising options for brands and online sellers, as well as a universal shopping cart across its entire platform of services, such as Search, Shopping, Images and even YouTube.
While Google characterizes Google Express closure as an "integration," it's really more of a sunset of a failed product and brand.
Google Express was Google's high-profile attempt to compete with Amazon for clicks on online shopping and advertising dollars to create a virtual shopping mall online filled with top-level merchandise. Because Google is not a reseller, it did what it knows best ̵
In the latter case, Google Express partnered with retailers such as Walmart and Target for deep voice-enabled shopping integrations. competitors with Amazon did not want these retailers to offer third-party skills for Echo users or others on Amazon's Alexa platform. Google represented a more secure third-party platform for their voice command and personal shopping experiments.
But even several years after its launch, Google Express had failed to offer any real threat to Amazon. Its retail partners, meanwhile, built their own fulfillment business for their customers' online orders – such as Walmart Grocery's pickup and delivery of the curb, for example, or Target's Shipt, Drive Up and Restock.
Not too much later, Target and Walmart pulled out of Google Express.
Google has tried to downplay the news of Google Express's death by including it as just another part of the major update to Google Shopping. It's not a shutdown, the company suggested. Its features simply became part of Google Shopping! Nothing to see here! Just a rebrand!
But clearly, Google Express could not have established itself in the minds of consumers as its own dedicated shopping destination. If customers wanted an online center, they already had one with either Amazon or Walmart and their large third-party markets where you could find almost everything you need. Neither had Google renewed (or acquired) over key areas such as warehousing or logistics, while others like Amazon, Target and Walmart had spent billions.
With Google Shopping, Google goes back to its search engine roots. It simply aims to capture consumer clicks, ad dollars and conversions now, no matter where they are on Google's websites – whether it's from Merch shelves under YouTube videos, browsing pictures on Pinterest-y way on Google Images or through more traditional Google searches for products where ads can be traded and shopping carts follow you around Google's part of the web.
In an email to Google Express customers sent this week, Google says Google Express will integrate with Shopping in a few weeks. time.
The redesigned Google Shopping will then be available online and through apps for iOS and Android later this month. At that time, Google Express apps will automatically update to become Google Shopping if you already have them installed.
The full Google Express closure email address is below: